Techno Dabbler

Trying out new technology.

Friday

13

May 2011

Is That Rouge?

by Alexandre Denault, on Game Development, PC, Java, Network Programming

I like iOS development. I am actually starting to see some elegance in Objective-C, even thought it has the strangest syntax ever. So far, I’ve release BlokPanic. The next game, I want it to be multiplayer, possibly even massively multiplayer. The problem is that I need some server software.

Currently, there are three big names in server software for the kind of game I want to make: SmartFox Server 2X, ElectroServer, and Photon Socket Server. There is also an up and coming open source server called Firebase. Lets compare them a bit.

ServerServer APIClient APIFull License
SmartFox Server 2xJavaJava, ActionScript, ObjC, C#3500 Eur
ElectroServerJava, JavaScript, ActionScriptJava, ActionScript, JavaScript, ObjC, C#5000 USD
Photon Socket Server.Net/C#Java, ObjC, C#3500 USD
FirebaseJavaJava, FlexOpen Source

I have worked with SmartFox before. It seems to be one of the industry standard, and it just works. However, it is somewhat aggravating to work with, as much of the implementation is hidden and not always tuned to one’s needs. Comparing these products, I don’t have several thousand dollars to invest in server software. For people wanting the learn, all three product offer small community licenses that are perfect for experimentation. As for Firebase, the client API is too limited (no Objective-C).

I decided to build my own multiplayer server software, Rouge Server. I’ve also decided to release it OpenSource under the Apache License 2.0. Why? It’s a nice way of giving back to the community. In addition, I believe that I can build this piece of software using my of the common OpenSource libraries found on the net.

I’m hoping to release the first version of the server somewhere next month. Before I release, I want to finish the clients/drivers for Java, Objective-C and .Net/C#. In addition, the current server only accepts a JSON protocol. I’ve hoping to implement BEncode support before the first release.

Alexandre Denault
Alexandre Denault

Veteran software developer and holds a PhD in Computer Science. Avid computer enthusiast (geek) who has been dabbling with technology ever since his Dad brought home an 8086 computer.

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